NEWS
05/02/2017 07:39 GMT | Updated 05/02/2017 07:47 GMT

Cope Says Jacob Zuma Must Not Use Phiyega As A Scapegoat For Marikana

"The truth can never be concealed, sooner or later the country will know the truth."

REUTERS
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma before speaking to members of the Twelve Apostles' Church in Christ at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa, December 4, 2016. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

The Congress of the People says President Jacob Zuma should not place the blame of the Marikana massacre on former police commissioner Riah Phiyega only.

Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem on Saturday said that deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and then minister of police Nathi Mthethwa must also be sacked for their involvement.

"Cope believes that the truth can never be concealed, sooner or later the country will know the truth," Bloem said in a statement.

"We want to reiterate that Zuma and his government must not use Phiyega as a scapegoat."

He said if Zuma was serious about putting the "painful event of Marikana" to rest, then he must not "cover-up for his close comrades", Ramaphosa and Mthethwa.

"Now that the Claassen Commission report recommends that Police National Commissioner Riah Phiyega be fired, we strongly believe that Ramaphosa and Mthethwa are the first to be fired for their involvement in the massacre."

The Claassen Commission report into Phiyega's fitness to hold office was tabled in Parliament this past week.

Cope said they hope Phiyega will tell the nation who "gave the instructions" to fire on striking miners, killing 34, when she testifies in court.

"We are well aware that Mthethwa was in constant contact with Phiyega before the action because of the volatility of the situation. It is absolutely wrong and unacceptable to throw the blame on one person."

He said Ramaphosa could not deny that he and Mthethwa were in contact in the days leading up to the massacre.

"We are convinced that these discussions must indeed have some bearing on the decision that was taken to employ live ammunition."

He said Mthethwa and Ramaphosa must be fired from their positions and be criminally charged for the massacre of the 34 mine workers at Marikana. -- News24